Moonlight and satellite detect snow bright

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Lake effect snow from a Dec. 14 Arctic air mass hits Great Lakes communities in this satellite image provided by NASA’s Earth Observatory.

The snow is observed by an instrument that can detect the light from the full moon it reflects, according to NASA.  The lights of Chicago and Detroit are clearly seen, indicating that what is shown is snow on the ground instead of clouds that would obscure them.

The parallel rows of clouds above Lake Huron and Lake Superior are called cloud streets. They are formed by cold, dry air accumulating water vapor as they blow over the lakes.

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